One of the most frustrating aspects of our business life is putting time and effort into applying for a job, “acing the interview” and then not hearing back from the company.

It’s maddening and to be candid, it’s rude not to receive any follow-up from a prospective employer. Employers lose great candidates because of simple non communication.

When an applicant receives no communication after an interview:

1. They feel as if they blew the interview.
2. They believe that their candidacy is being rejected.
3. The employer is not credible or may appear to be unstable- a real turnoff.

Being rejected is one thing however; not being contacted by the company soon after an interview is a rookie mistake that can cost an organization the loss of a great candidate.

When an applicant does not hear back after an interview, it feels personal. Being left in limbo to ponder if one should wait and contact the employer can be a difficult decision.

You do not want to appear too desperate. At the same time, you want to know where you stand.

If this provides any comfort, please know that it is very common to not hear back from a company after an interview.

After years of interacting with employers, here are 4 typical reasons that hiring managers do not respond or send rejections letters to applicants after an interview:

1. People are busy. It’s a rather poor excuse, but in fact people are busy and simply put off writing calling or writing a rejection letter. Unfortunately most companies do not have a “rejection letter” template that they can simply fill out and mail so the urgency to compose a rejection letter wanes. In addition, a standard “rejection letter” never reveals the real reason for not being hired.

2. They are still interviewing. Maybe you were the first person the company interviewed — out of a possible 20+ candidates and the process was meant to take at least 90 days to find the right candidate. Or maybe they’ve decided on another candidate and are in the middle of deep negotiations with that person.

3. The job has been put on hold. After you went in for your job interview, the company might have — unbeknownst to you — experienced sweeping budget cuts that meant they needed to eliminate positions. The hiring process may have been frozen as a result. In another scenario, perhaps the company is in the midst of re configuring the role based on unforeseen circumstances (a manager quit, or the company decided to explore a new avenue and is still hammering out the details).

4. They’re afraid of legal issues. In today’s litigious world, it seems like almost any excuse can be grounds for a lawsuit—and companies know that all too well. So instead of calling to let you know why you specifically weren’t hired (e.g., you didn’t have the required skill set, you didn’t get a good reference from a previous employer, etc.), hiring managers may adopt a “silence is golden” rule when dealing with those not hired.


Bernie Reifkind is the CEO and founder of Premier Search, Inc. a nationwide executive search and placement firm. In addition, Bernie provides career guidance and strategic interviewing techniques to professionals at all levels. P: 1(800) 801-1400 or email at